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Crestmont
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Featured Author Group Reads > FA Group Read #6 - Crestmont by Holly Weiss (Author Participation)

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message 1: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3387 comments Mod
Hi all! So, it looks like Crestmont won the vote. Congrats, Holly! :)

I'm putting up the thread a few days early with the information that Holly sent to me regarding book acquisition options:

Nook $2.99
Kindle $2.99
All e-versions at www.Smashwords.com are $2.99
Amazon paperback $14.78
Barnes and Noble $13.06

Holly has offered to send autographed copies direct with free shipping for $15.00. If you're interested in this, please message her directly (go to her profile and click send message) with your mailing information. Holly will provide you with info as to how to send the payment.

Happy reading all! :)


message 2: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Thank you for that post, Becky. Thanks to my fellow HF group members for choosing Crestmont. Here are some short uTube videos to get you started. Don't worry. No spoilers here! I hope you enjoy the book.

You may be interested to see the book trailer at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0fwyh...

This two-minute trailer explains why I transitioned from singing to writing and explains why singing is an integral part of Crestmont.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILVd6M...


LemonLinda (lwilliamson0423) | 678 comments I read this one in January of 2011 - my first one of that year and it was a good 4 star read for me. Loved the characters and the inn was such a integral part of the story. Enjoyed it a lot.


Lori (glitzyrebel) I'm really enjoying Crestmont!! The characters seem so real. I love it that Gracie had the courage to take a huge step in a different direction without permission from her family. (Better to ask for forgiveness than permission???) Looking forward to reading the rest of her journey!


message 5: by Anne (new)

Anne Ipsen | 120 comments Becky wrote: "Hi all! So, it looks like Crestmont won the vote. Congrats, Holly! :)

I won't be joining this discussion as I seldom read books set in the 20th century (I don't consider anything that takes place during my lifetime as 'historical' :-).

However, during the voting process, I discovered 'Birkebeiner" by Jeff Foltz and just finished reading it--I would love to join a discussion about this book, but didn't know where to post the message.



message 6: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Lori wrote: "I'm really enjoying Crestmont!! The characters seem so real. I love it that Gracie had the courage to take a huge step in a different direction without permission from her family. (Better to ask ..."
Thanks, Lori. Glad you are enjoying her journey. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.


Debbie (Doc) I will be joining in on this discussion. I have the book and plan on starting it by the middle of next week.


Lori (glitzyrebel) Yay!! I was beginning to wonder if anyone else was going to read it.


message 9: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Debbie wrote: "I will be joining in on this discussion. I have the book and plan on starting it by the middle of next week."

I look forward to talking with you, Debbie.


Debbie (Doc) Lori wrote: "Yay!! I was beginning to wonder if anyone else was going to read it."

Most definitely and I was wondering the same thing..


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | -52 comments I am really busy these days but I have purchased it for when the whirlwind stops twirling. However, given what is going on, it may be a while.


message 12: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Victoria_Grossack wrote: "I am really busy these days but I have purchased it for when the whirlwind stops twirling. However, given what is going on, it may be a while."

I understand whirlwinds, Victoria. Relax and read it when you can enjoy it. Thanks for writing.


message 13: by Lori (last edited Sep 26, 2012 06:55PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori (glitzyrebel) Holly, your characters are so "touchable"--like people you would meet in real life. They are developed without being overly developed. Did individuals you know become the foundation for any of the characters in your book?


message 14: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Hi, Lori,

Thank you for your comment about my characters being "touchable." To answer your question about individuals I know being the foundation for my characters:

Warren Sloan, who mentored PT, was my maternal grandfather and famous in bowling during the 1950s an 1960s.

Margaret Woods is a composite of the owner of the inn while I was writing the book (in the overworked sense) and me. My mother had just died when I was writing and I used my grief as a catalyst for Margaret's attachment to her father. Margaret and I are also very "type A' personalities.

Bessie is based on someone I know, but I certainly shouldn't reveal who that is!

I enjoyed writing Eleanor, the Woods's youngest daughter very much and infused my granddaughter's personality into Eleanor's.

Rev. Sturdy and his wife are old friends of mine who gave me permission to write them into the story. They functioned in my life much they way they support Gracie.

I created most of the others in my mind, based on my background in singing and teaching voice. It was the most enjoyable part of writing Crestmont.


message 15: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori (glitzyrebel) That's very interesting.

I love it that you were able to incorporate not only your grandfathers personality but his area of success as well!!

Bessie. We all have one in our lives, don't we?

Thanks so much for sharing!


message 16: by Lesley (last edited Sep 29, 2012 03:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesley | 57 comments These are not just characters in a book, but people who make up the 'family' of Crestmont(even Bessie). I am thoroughly enjoying sharing their lives with them, and although I know the book must come to an end, I don't want their stories to.


message 17: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Thank you both! Emma's Gran,

I still miss many of these characters, especially The Crrstmont Inn, which, in my mind is a character also. We moved farther away and it is difficult to visit now.


message 18: by Lesley (last edited Sep 30, 2012 03:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesley | 57 comments All through reading this book, each time I have had to put it down I have hankered to get back to Gracie and the Crestmont family just in case something happened and I wasn't there! Now there are finally no more pages to turn I am left wishing the story had never finished.

Despite that, I have to say how wonderful the ending was after the journey with Gracie. A perfect ending.

I have to say I really enjoyed and appreciated the endnotes and all the added information contained there.

Thank you Holly for an excellent story and well-written book.


message 19: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Thank you for your comments, Ella's Gran. The ending really happened (although I fictionalized it a bit). I cried when I wrote it, but won't say why here because it would be a spoiler. I'm very glad you enjoyed Crestmont.


Christina (christinahh) | 254 comments I began reading Crestmont yesterday during my morning workout. I was moved to tears in the opening chapters and was embarrassed to be crying on the elliptical machine. Luckily there was only one other person in the gym :-) Now I am about 25% through and I can identify with Gracie because she is a planner. I am also one of those people who writes down her hopes and dreams and then tracks what I will need to make things happen. I fill notebooks with such lists. Are you a planner and list maker too?

I also appreciate the details of the novel. It is apparent that the time period has been carefully researched and brought to life with food, fashions, and dialogue. What source did you consult for the "slang" of the time (sayings such as the bees knees)?


message 21: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Yes, I am very much a planner. Fortunately, lists helped me keep track of characters and scenes. Both the internet and the library helped me with expressions of the 1920s. Thanks, Deborah.


message 22: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Christina wrote: "I began reading Crestmont yesterday during my morning workout. I was moved to tears in the opening chapters and was embarrassed to be crying on the elliptical machine. Luckily there was only one ..."

Forgive me, Christina. I did know you had sent that comment and mistakenly wrote Deborah's name. This is why authors need editors!


message 23: by Lori (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lori (glitzyrebel) Hi, Holly,
Your book was an enjoyable experience. You were able to develop characters that live beyond the last page!

(view spoiler)

Thank you! Crestmont was a warm and delightful journey!!


message 24: by Sandra (new)

Sandra O'Briant (sandraramosobriant_) | 44 comments I didn't want it to end. Will there be a sequel?


Lesley | 57 comments Sandra wrote: "I didn't want it to end. Will there be a sequel?"

I keep thinking about Eleanor and wonder what she and Peg did after Gracie left. What was it like being raised at Crestmont and what did they go on to do with their lives - particularly Eleanor.


message 26: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments I am hoping for a sequel. My life has been tumultuous this past year (moving to a new state, my husband in chemo), so I've not had time to write. Thank you all so much for your kind words. Sandra, I didn't want to stop writing it!

Both Eleanor and Peg were based on real people. I didn't know the Woods family, but researched Peg and Eleanor. Eleanor in real life lived until she was 87 and when she was 85 she went up in a hot air balloon. She was always a free spirit. Peg married Tingle Dickerson and together they ran the Crestmont until 1987. She was at the auction (from the epilogue), but in reality, the inn did need to be torched and the Mennonites did take the wood to make barns. So in a way, the old Crestmont lives today.

Here is an interesting tidbit. I called the current day Crestmont last summer to check on a reservation. The owner said "The Dickerson's are on the porch looking at your book." Then she handed the phone to them and we had a nice conversation. That was Peg's daughter-in-law.


message 27: by Lesley (last edited Oct 03, 2012 05:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lesley | 57 comments Holly wrote: "I am hoping for a sequel. My life has been tumultuous this past year (moving to a new state, my husband in chemo), so I've not had time to write. Thank you all so much for your kind words. Sandra, ..."
Oh Holly, how wonderful to get to talk to Peg's daughter-in-law. For you a lovely rounding off of the book!
I did see in the Epilogue where Peg was at the auction that day, her interaction with Gracie and her grandchild which as Lori said "provided nice closure while also fully embracing the feeling that life goes on". It doesn't surprise me in the slightest that Eleanor was riding in a hot air balloon at the age of 85! Just the sort of life I would have imagined for her from your writing - adventurous.

I have not had a book linger on in my mind with such intensity as Crestmont. Everyday I find myself thinking about this or that character, wondering what they went on to do and reliving what they did do.
I hope this and future years are not so tumultuous for you and your husband.

Thank you so much.


message 28: by Christina (last edited Oct 03, 2012 07:11PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christina (christinahh) | 254 comments How long did it take to write Crestmont? During the writing process, did you alter your regular work schedule to focus on writing?


message 29: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Lori wrote: "Hi, Holly,
Your book was an enjoyable experience. You were able to develop characters that live beyond the last page!

The ending-knowing she was with Eric, the future of Crestmont, Peg and Ele..."


I really appreciate the time you took to write this review, Lori!


message 30: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Hi, Christina,
I wrote Crestmont over a period of four years. Since I am self-employed, it was fairly easy to alter my schedule to work. There were "writing designated days" and work days. I also took about eight four-day trips to the current day Crestmont Inn to research, interview people in town and write. That was a great help as far as inspiration and concentration went.


Debbie (Doc) I am finally starting to read this today and can't put it down! Due to all of the challenges that I'm in lately, this book just hasn't worked out.

I am going out of town on Tuesday and had planned to read it on the plane. Now, I have to force myself not to pick it up until then...not sure if I can hold out or not...

I am loving Grace and can't wait to see how she progresses!


message 32: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Great, Debbie. Enjoy your trip and reading.


Debbie (Doc) Holly,

I finished the book on the plane. I bet the gentleman sitting next to me thought I was a little strange at some of the expressions that I made!

Slight Spoilers

I really enjoyed seeing Grace grow up and mature. She was a jewel of a person, and I absolutely loved her. At times, I had a difficult time with Margaret's character, but at to keep telling myself that she was acting in the capacity of Inn owner and her actions had to show the distinction between employer and employee. However, I thought that she was extremely nice to Grace. I am glad in the end that Grace found love.

Holly, I hope that you are able to either write a sequel or another book. You are a fantastic author!


message 34: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Thank you, Debbie! I tried to have Margaret's character show how conflicted we all can be at times.


message 35: by Holly (new) - added it

Holly Weiss (hollyweiss) | 295 comments Thank you to all who read Crestmont and participated in this discussion. I've enjoyed it immensely.


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